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Fri 28 Nov 2008

Joanna Riding to join cast of Billy Elliot


Cast changes in Billy Elliot : The Musical from 1 Dec 2008 at the Victoria Palace Theatre

Joanna Riding takes over the role of 'Mrs Wilkinson' until the end of December when Kate Graham currently the understudy, will take take over the part to the summer 2009. Joanna Riding's London stage credits include "Blithe Spirit" at the Savoy in 2004; "Witches of Eastwick" at the Drury Lane & Prince of Wales in 2000/01; "My Fair Lady" at the Drury Lane in 2001; "Guys and Dolls" at the Olivier, NT in 1996; "A Little Night Music" at the Olivier, NT in 1995.

Other cast changes include Joe Caffrey who played Tony in 2005, now returns to play (Dad); Craig Gallivan (Tony), Sean Kingsley (Mr Braithwaite), Stephanie Putson returns to the show as (Dead Mum).

Ann Emery (Grandma) & Trevor Fox (George) remain in the cast.

The show opened 11 May 2005, following previews from 31 March, to terrific notices from the popular press: MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "Billy Elliot succeeds brilliantly because Elton John's music and, especially, Peter Darling's choreography enhance Lee Hall's cinematic concept." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "Billy Elliot strikes me as the greatest British musical I have ever seen." ALASTAIR MACAULAY for THE FINANCIAL TIMES says, "Elton John's music is too often formulaic but about half of this show achieves dramatic poetry of a kind rare in any kind of theatre."PAUL TAYLOR for THE INDEPENDENT says, "Funny, touching and shamelessly enjoyable staging."

Billy Elliot : The Musical has Book & Lyrics by Lee Hall & Music by Elton John. It is directed by Stephen Daldry, designed by Ian MacNeil, lighting by Rick Fisher, costumes by Nicky Gillibrand, choreography by Peter Darling, sound by Paul Arditti. Produced by Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan co-Chairmen of Working Title Films and theatre impresario Sally Greene, from Old Vic Productions along with Jon Finn.

The story of a boy from a humble Tyneside background, whose mother is dead, and whose father and brother are caught up in the bitterly fought community-splitting miner's strike of 1984. Billy's father wants his son to learn to box, like him and his father before him. But instead Billy becomes fascinated by the grace and magic of ballet. BILLY ELLIOT is about Billy's gritty and determined struggle, at first in secret, but then with the wholehearted backing of his family, to dance his way to the brightest of futures by winning a place at the Royal Ballet School.


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